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Peoria man’s Facebook Live showing lands him in prison for federal gun crime

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PEORIA (HOI) - A federal judge is sending a man to prison on a gun charge for causing a ruckus in a Peoria department store that he showed on Facebook Live.

U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade on Wednesday sentenced Tariq Lawson of Peoria to 4 years and 9 months in prison for his guilty plea to illegal possession of a firearm by a felon.

Court documents and statements made in court indicated a Peoria Police officer watched on Facebook as Lawson, 22, appeared to have a handgun in his waistband while riding a motorized scooter inside Walmart at 8915 N. Allen Road on June 30 of last year. The police officer said he also saw a juvenile with Lawson who had a gun.

When police arrived, officers said they saw Lawson enter a vehicle, and during a search found two handguns on tops of groceries behind where Lawson was sitting.

Authorities said Lawson could not legally have a gun because has a prior felony conviction, and was on probation in Peoria County Court.

Howard Packowitz

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